On January 29, 2019, New York Times journalist Danny Hakim published a story that shed new light on an NRA delegation’s infamous December 2015 trip to Moscow to meet with top-level Russian officials including foreign minister Sergey Lavrov and deputy defense minister Dmitry Rogozin. Hakim revealed that email traffic at the time indicated delegation leader David Keene (a past NRA president and longtime board member) sought to meet with Russian president Vladimir Putin himself during the trip!
NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre and past president Allan Cors responded to the story by trying to distance themselves from Keene and the Moscow delegation. Cors said he canceled his participation in the trip at the last minute because he was “uncomfortable” with it. LaPierre told the NYT through an intermediary that he opposed the trip, forbade staff from attending, and refused to pay for delegates’ travel and expenses.
It was all a lie. The day after the NYT story, ABC News revealed it had obtained emails between NRA staff and Russian spy Maria Butina from 2015. These emails show NRA staff was involved in the planning for the NRA delegation trip to Moscow down to the granular level. The NRA offered to pay for the expenses of multiple delegate members and even purchased gifts to give to their Russian hosts.
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Sample Facebook post:
When it was revealed the NRA had sought a meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin in 2015, CEO Wayne LaPierre attempted to distance himself, claiming he opposed the infamous NRA delegation trip to Moscow. Just one day later, reporting from ABC News has proven LaPierre’s story a lie. NRA staff and Russian spy Maria Butina organized the trip together!
CEO Wayne LaPierre just got caught lying about NRA outreach to Vladimir Putin himself! https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/nra-2015-moscow-trip-wasnt-official-emails-photos/story?id=60715741
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